In the past weeks we have witnessed a continuous stream of heart wrenching scenes as successive hurricanes have caused millions to flee their homes. The damage and destruction we’ve seen nature unleash upon our fellow Americans is both frightening and humbling. But, as in all tragedies, there are moments of hope and inspiration often centered around individual and collective acts of selfless bravery and love.
I would be the first to admit that the heightened emotion and frantic passion of politics in these last few years has me exhausted and often discouraged as I’ve seen the ugliness humanity is capable of. When I’ve seen the resentment and sometimes overt hate spill out into the mainstream of political discussion and witnessed the absolute contempt some Americans now hold for fellow Americans, I find myself at times wondering if America’s best days are behind us. I have wondered if we are even capable of the brotherly love necessary to save our republic.
I find respite to the fears of despair as I witness the responses to crisis and tragedy which demonstrate we are still capable of being at our best.
These past weeks I have witnessed a nation still capable of setting aside everything but the reality that it’s time to load up the trucks and start moving them to where they’re needed, to fire up the boats and start searching for people who need help, to wait in long lines to give blood, to take what little extra cash there is out of the monthly budget and hope it can make a difference.
I don’t claim to have all the answers and I’d count myself lucky to have found only a few answers. But, I have to believe that the ultimate answer to finding our way from this wilderness of resentment and hate we are witnessing in our nation’s politics is rediscovering that political differences, philosophical differences, and lifestyle differences should not divide Americans as much as they have been allowed to. I believe we desperately need to re-center ourselves upon the foundational premise that, above all other considerations, we should be basically decent to each other.
I know our Nation is still capable of great things and I know we are still capable of being at our best.